Tuesday, March 25, 2014

GM reaffirms its commitment to invest in Thailand

General Motors Thailand announced today that they will submit an application to the Thailand Board of Investment’s Eco Car Phase 2 program.

“GM’s intent to develop a new Chevrolet car for production in Thailand is well aligned with the objective of the Eco Car program,” said Marcos Purty, the new managing director of GM Thailand. “By submitting this application, GM reaffirms its commitment to invest in Thailand and make Rayong a strategic hub for global exports. Additionally, this investment will bolster our long-term commitment to the excellent regional supplier network.”

The program calls for automakers in Thailand to build an all-new vehicle that is fuel-efficient, environmentally friendly, safe, and low cost, for sale throughout the region by the end of the decade. Eco cars are expected to use many locally produced components, including powertrain parts.

Suzuki to build Celerio in Thailand

Suzuki Motor Corporation’s Thai subsidiary Suzuki Motor (Thailand) (SMT) will assemble the Celerio (which is also made in India) from next May. It will also build the model for Europe, starting in the second half of this year.

SMT in March 2012 started production and distribution of the Swift 'eco-car' (defined by strict Thai government criteria) and the Celerio will be its second such model. It built around 50,000 units last year.

Suzuki describes the Celerio as "a global compact car". The Thai-built version is based on the A:Wind concept displaye at the Thailand International Motor Expo last November.

The Thai version will have a newly-developed five-speed manual transmission as standard with optional CVT in a market where automatic transmission now dominates.

With the newly-developed one-litre engine, the car achieves fuel consumption of 5 litres/100km, one of the requirements for cars that meet the Thai government-approved eco-car project criteria.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Chinese Car Maker Faces Roadblocks in Thailand

Via Wall Street Journal: BANGKOK—When SAIC Motor Corp. 600104.SH -0.16%  more than a year ago announced plans to make cars in Thailand by 2014, it was seen as a significant move by the Chinese auto industry to secure a foothold in Southeast Asia's largest manufacturing hub.

But China's top auto maker appears to be running into trouble in one of its first major attempts to produce cars abroad.

A joint venture between SAIC and CP Group, Thailand's largest conglomerate, is struggling to identify the target customer for its British-designed MG cars as it prepares to enter the Thai market as car sales are slumping and political unrest has unnerved foreign investors.

CP Group also has signaled first production for the joint venture won't begin until the fourth quarter, according to an email reviewed by The Wall Street Journal, a delay from the expected July start. The email said output would "start in the 4th quarter of 2014 with an annual production capacity of 50,000 vehicles...."

Nissan believes Thai political turmoil temporary

Takao Katagiri, executive vice president at Nissan Motor Co., said the unrest in the Thai capital Bangkok is temporary and won't affect long term plans in Thailand and the rest of Southeast Asia.

Katagiri said Nissan will continue to invest in Thailand and the region, including the Philippines, where it established a new sales joint venture late last year with a 51 percent stake.

He said Nissan has an 8 percent share of Southeast Asia's auto market and hopes to expand its share to 15 percent by 2016.

He said the current turmoil in Thailand is "just a short term issue" in the backdrop of his company's long term plans.

"We are always making investments for a longer term basis," he said. "We have a strong belief in the growth so we will continue to invest into the ASEAN market, and also the Thailand market and of course the Philippine market."

Thursday, March 6, 2014

PCS to go public 14 March

Thai auto parts manufacturer PCS Machine Group Holding is forging ahead with its plans for an initial public offering (IPO) to raise funds for expansion and to reduce debt.

The company plans to sell to the public a total of 389m shares, around 25% of its entire share capital, at a cost of THB8.60 (US$0.26) each - allowing it to raise THB3.35bn (US$105m). The subscription offer ends on 7 March and the shares will be listed on 14 March.

PCS is a major Thai manufacturer of drivetrain parts for petrol and diesel engines. The company plans to expand its activities initially within the ASEAN region.